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Firing Chuck Pagano is Not the Answer for the Colts

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano asks the officials an inane question.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve tried to keep a professional mentality when approaching the glaringly obvious coaching problem going on with this Colts team.

“Firing coaches does not lead to continuity within the franchise.”

There are several examples of successful professional sports franchises that are known for keeping their staff around for years and that staff also achieving some modicum of success.

I’ve held back from saying “just fire Pagano” because I didn’t think it was the right answer. The problems have been much more personnel related. Afterall, Colts fans should be fully aware that the team has been dealing with a lot of injuries. I figured that over time, the franchise would self-correct and back to our winnings ways we’d go.

At the beginning of the season, I found out that 26 of the 53 people on the roster this year are new players. This amount of turnover, while not uncommon for a struggling franchise, leads me to believe that not only were the Colts victims of terrible general management (thanks a lot, Grigson), but obviously there’s a glaring deficiency among the entire coaching staff when a new general manager walks in and says, basically, “Those players you’re familiar with all suck. Here, these guys off the street (outside the franchise) are better.” To me, this says there are more people to blame than just Chuck Pagano.

The defense has played well this year until late in the game, once they’ve basically been on the field the entire second half. I think this means that the defensive portion of the coaching staff is safe (for now). I’m not a fan of giving up what I see as progress regardless of the actual results. Yes, this defense has problems, but there are obvious strengths this defense has built and are continuing to build on. Let’s not pull the rug out from under them just yet.

However, failing to develop an offensive game plan that evolves with the flow of the game, failing to get your play-makers involved, and failing to move the ball in the second half of football games should absolutely get offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski fired. If you’re only able to gameplan when you’ve got an elite quarterback at the helm, then you’re leaning on someone else to keep your head above water and not carrying on and getting better week to week without said elite quarterback (please come back soon, Andrew).

There, I said it.

It’s not just Chuck Pagano.

I’m so beyond calling for Chuck’s job that I’ve moved on to his staff.

That’s how fired Chucky P. is. He’s so fired that I’m looking at someone else’s job and saying “Yeah, that guy’s gone as well.” I’d call for others, but at this point it’s pretty clear that this offense is being held back by its play-calling and its predictability once the Colts move away from their scripted plays, particularly in the latter portion of games.

Colts fans are used to being down by a field goal with a couple minutes left and looking at each other saying “We got this. No problem.” Now, there could be a double-digit lead with less than 9 minutes left and we’re biting our fingernails hoping we can hang on in overtime against one of the worst franchises in sports.

I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would willfully put Andrew Luck under center with the current head coach/offensive coordinator (or offensive line) in place. In fact, I could see a scenario where Luck doesn’t play this year if someone doesn’t lose their job before he comes back, and every man is playing/coaching for his job moving forward.

Right?

That’s the expectation. Excellence above all else. If you aren’t getting it done, get someone in here to get it done.

Of course none of this is going to happen.

This is our curse as Colts fans. You and I could coach this team, and instead we’re watching them get beat by the gutter of the NFL.

Keep chopping wood, Chuck.

Could Chuck chop wood?

Would Chuck chop wood?

What does chopping wood have to do with football?